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Tis the Season to Deliver Customer Satisfaction

Angry Customer

Lack of training for customer service employees not only frustrates the customer, it also stresses out the staff.

One of my past college instructors recently posted rather disparaging comments about Amazon.com’s delivery services in the state of Texas. He obviously did not receive customer satisfaction with a recent purchase. I was very surprised to see the post because this particular instructor has always been a mellow individual, who up to this point, I don’t think had a bad word to say about anyone. Therefore, I can only assume that he finally had enough run around trying to rectify his issue. It all boils down to something I have been writing about for the past year – the importance of the customer journey and providing the ultimate customer satisfaction (it better be a good experience!).

In the case above, although Amazon had contracted out a regional delivery service for the holiday season, they are still ultimately responsible for delivering customer satisfaction. They are responsible for all delivery services acting as an agent for Amazon. As he stated in his post, my instructor is a longtime advocate of purchasing goods via Amazon. This was his first negative experience and now he is asking the general public not to purchase certain items from Amazon. NewVoice agrees, 58% of consumers will never use a company again after a negative experience.

Social Media and Customer Satisfaction  

There are two points I would like to highlight. The first is that my instructor knows the power of social media and is using it to vent his frustrations about a lack of customer satisfaction. He is also using it to warn other would-be buyers. He first requested that Amazon post a message about the delivery problems. When he did not get a response, he did what so many other unsatisfied customers are doing. He posted complaints on social media for everyone to see. I have yet to view an online reply from Amazon regarding this delivery issue. According to Forrester Research, 45% of consumers will abandon an online purchase if they can’t quickly find answers to their questions.

The second point concerns the use of seasonal employees. Now there is nothing wrong with using seasonal employees, and I applaud companies who can put more people in work. What bothers me is the minimal training of the seasonal workers. They are typically given a script with canned responses to every question. How many of us have fallen victim to the untrained customer service representative who keeps repeating the same few answers to every question we ask? According to The Harvard Business Review, 84% of customers say that their expectations had not been exceeded in their last customer service interaction. Death by customer service rep could be the epitaph on many a customer tombstone.

Too often companies protect profits at the expense of unhappy customers. The lack of proper training, empowerment, and decision making of customer-facing staff not only frustrates the customer, and lowers customer satisfaction, it also unnecessarily stresses out the staff. I personally can’t imagine anything worse than spending 8 hours a day communicating with hostile customers and having no real power, knowledge, or tools to effectively help them. According to American Express, 35% of cardholders have lost their temper when talking to customer service. As in the instructor example above, an angry customer can easily damage a company’s image and brand with unforeseen, and negative results.

Read the instructor’s post:  http://bit.ly/1N9VTtv

100 Customer Service Statistics You Need To Know

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Cloud Contact Centers Made Easy

Multichannel Cloud Contact Centers

Cloud contact centers allow customer service professionals and contact center managers to focus on their core tasks.

Strategic Importance of Cloud Contact Centers

Contact centers continue to grow in both size and strategic importance according to Deloitte’s 2015 Global Contact Center Survey.  Up to 96% of respondents anticipating growth in the next two years in support of customer and business needs.  As they rapidly expand in popularity, hosted or cloud contact centers allow customer service professionals and contact center managers to focus more on their core business.  They no longer have to not worry about all of the technology required to operate a successful operation. This means more time to manage contact center staffing, accounting/billing, and most importantly, delivering exceptional customer care. Another benefit is the development of new multichannel capabilities that incorporate email, chat and social media. Businesses can deploy new technology in the cloud much faster to meet customer needs.

Reasons for the growth of cloud contact centers can be seen in the many benefits cloud solutions offer.

All of the applications and services are owned and operated by the cloud service provider and maintained in the provider’s data centers. Cloud services in general have many more options to support the contact center infrastructure. This can include hosted PBX, IVR, SMS, email, and seamless delivery of quality assurance, analytics, customer relationship management (CRM) and other applications. The provider routes phone numbers to the systems installed in its data centers. Numbers and other data are then rerouted to in-house agents and/or remote agents for action.

The dominant protocol used for cloud contact centers is high speed Internet VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) on demand service. This allows any business to benefit from low cost soft phones on the desktop. All data is stored at the service provider data center where easy remote access is available 24/7. The real value is that companies using cloud solutions are no longer responsible for system maintenance and uptime, hardware and software updates, additional IT resources, infrastructure and paying utility bills.

Cloud Contact Center Benefits

Another key advantage of cloud contact centers is the low upfront investment. Typically, monthly payments are lower than a major upfront investment in a premised-based contact center system. Monthly fees associated with cloud contact centers can better accommodate monthly cash flow. Some vendors even offer a pay-as-you-go model. Contract commitments can include discounts based on volume and options to scale up or down based on demand.

6 Compelling Reasons to Move to a Cloud Contact Center:

  1. No Software or Hardware Maintenance Expense: There are no costs related to system support services, replacing outdated or faulty hardware or upgrading your system.
  2. Reduced IT Expenses: Eliminate monthly expenses for maintaining systems, office space and related utilities. Support may still need to be provided for local desktops and other IT equipment.
  3. Integrated PBX and Call Management Features: Select a provider that can offer call management features such as PBX, IVR, Auto-Attendant, and Call Screening. This type of provider will have a complete solution avoiding equipment and support expenses.
  4. Built-in Redundancy and Disaster Recovery: No more worries about system downtime, redundancy, or maintaining continuity in disasters. Leverage distributed contact centers, 24-hour-a-day coverage, home-based agents, disaster recovery and more.
  5. Operate from Anywhere, Anytime: Gain the competitive edge with the opportunity to staff from a better pool of talent, schedule agents more effectively, and reduce overall payroll costs.
  6. Rapid Scaling and Feature Deployment: Quickly add or remove agent positions and seats with little impact. New features and functionality can be rapidly deployed without on-premise installations, testing, and implementation. Reduce time-to-market with new features and capabilities.

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